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Students Welcomed to Campus with Events & Worship

President Barnes encourages students, “Restore the garden that you’ve let go to weeds”
Wide Image Orientation 2017

With bundles and boxes, excitement and passion, new students were welcomed to campus and settled into their dorms and apartments. They’ve come from across the U.S. and from several countries around the world, and bring many gifts that will enrich the Seminary community. Classes began on September 8.

During orientation week, students met classmates, faculty, and administrators. Social and educational events were held throughout the week—Seminaryfest, plenary sessions with professors, a trip to explore The Farminary, a reception with President Barnes, and worship.


Photo Gallery

Opening Convocation

Jacqueline Lapsley, associate professor of Old Testament, preached her sermon, “Disruptive Covenant,” during the Opening Convocation ceremony for the 2017-2018 Academic Year on September 7th.




Opening Communion

That’s why we call him Savior. You have to give him the weeds.

In his Opening Communion sermon, “Weeds in the Garden,” (Matthew 13:24–30) President Barnes told students, “We hear often about engaging the call to engage the mission of Christ or to advocate for social justice. To advocate for these things is not hard. To want to do these things is not hard. It’s the doing that is hard…. You have to give your whole life to God. Not just the parts you are proud of. Not just the righteous parts. You have to give the parts you are most ashamed of giving him. That’s why we call him Savior. You have to give him the weeds. It will not free you from the weeds. It will free you from the preoccupation with them, so that you can get back to being useful.”



Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor at Franklin Lakes United Methodist Church, New Jersey

Alison VanBuskirk, Class of 2015

“My call as a pastor centers on shaping a community where people can connect and be real with each other and God.”